Burning Darkness

A Half Century of Spanish Cinema

Edited by Joan Ramon Resina
Assisted by Andrés Lema-Hincapié

Subjects: Hispanic Studies, Latin American Studies, Film Studies, Cultural Studies
Series: SUNY series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture
Paperback : 9780791475041, 318 pages, July 2009
Hardcover : 9780791475034, 318 pages, July 2008

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Joan Ramon Resina

1. Rehearsing for Modernity in ¡Bienvenido, Mr. Marshall!
(Luis García Berlanga, 1952)
Eva Woods Peiró

2. Existential Crossroads in Muerte de un ciclista
(Juan Antonio Bardem, 1955)
Andrés Lema-Hincapié

3. Viridiana Coca-Cola
(Luis Buñuel, 1961)
Tom Conley

4. El espíritu de la colmena: Memory, Nostalgia, Trauma
(Víctor Erice, 1973)
Chris Perriam

5. A Poetics of Splitting: Memory and Identity in La prima Angélica
(Carlos Saura, 1974)
Àngel Quintana

6. Ambiguous Disenchantment in El corazón del bosque
(Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, 1979)
Ireni Depetris Chauvin

7. Los paraísos perdidos: Cinema of Return and Repetition
(Basilio Martín Patino, 1985)
Tatjana Pavlovic´

8. (M)Othering Strategies in El pájaro de la felicidad
(Pilar Miró, 1993)
Jaume Martí-Olivella
9. Abjection, Trauma, and the Material Image: La madre muerta
(Juanma Bajo Ulloa, 1993)
Jo Labanyi

10. The Catalan Body Politic as Aired in Teta i la lluna
(Bigas Luna, 1995)
Dominic Keown

11. Genre and Screen Violence: Revisiting Tesis
(Alejandro Amenábar, 1996)
Barry Jordan

12. Conceptualizing “the Impact” in Los amantes del círculo polar
(Julio Medem, 1998)
Robert A. Davidson

13. Immortal/Undead: The Body and the Transmission of Tradition in Amic/Amat
(Ventura Pons, 1999)
Josep-Anton Fernàndez

14. Imitation of Life: Transsexuality and Transtextuality in Todo sobre mi madre
(Pedro Almodóvar, 1999)
Esteve Riambau

15. The Construction of the Cinematic Image: En construcción
(José Luis Guerín, 2000)
Joan Ramon Resina

Works Cited
List of Contributors

Encourages a deep reading of a selection of essential Spanish films.


From the origins of the New Spanish Cinema in the 1950s to the end of the last century, Burning Darkness features essays on a selection of essential films by Spain's most important directors, including Pedro Almodóvar, Luis Buñuel, Víctor Erice, Ventura Pons, and others. Contributors focus on current theoretical debates and issues of representation, politics, cultural identity, and aesthetics. Rather than historically surveying Spanish films, the book encourages a deep reading of these essential works and the ways they cast light on specific aspects of Spanish society and its recent history. Accessibly written, it will appeal not only to students and scholars but also to anyone interested in Spanish cinema.

Joan Ramon Resina is Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford University. His many books include After-Images of the City (coedited with Dieter Ingenschay). Andrés Lema-Hincapié is Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Colorado at Denver.


"The contribution of Burning Darkness to the field of film studies and to the field of Spanish cinema studies, in particular, constitutes one of the best—if not the best—and most complete books of its kind … Burning Darkness is an excellent, innovative, and well-written book, accessible not only to scholars and students but also to anyone interested in Spanish cinema." — Revista de Estudios Hispánicos

"…provides a panoramic view of Spanish cinema from 1952 to the end of the millennium … a highly useful resource." — Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

"The essays are generally thoroughly researched and well written, and they take fresh, fruitful approaches to their subject matter … This collection significantly furthers understanding of Spanish cinema." — CHOICE

"The editors have brought together some of the most important scholars in contemporary peninsular studies from North America and Europe. From one chapter to the next, the book consistently demonstrates an interplay between film (as both industry and artifact) and the social, political, economic, and cultural factors that surround it. In its plurality of critical perspectives, Burning Darkness demonstrates the depth and breadth of the critical dialogue that Spanish film has generated over the last half century." — Colleen P. Culleton, University at Buffalo, State University of New York